I just saw the photo's you took and read your article about the MV Discovery and I must say you did a fine job. I just ended the 25 day cruise to S. America. Unfortunately I cannot say it was a fun experience for me.
I realize that there was a major crew change in Lisbon when Discovery World Cruises took over the ship. The issue was further compounded because there was a problem getting the crew through customs and they were very late getting to the boat. Too bad DWC did not plan on spending an extra day or two in Lisbon to get things straightened out before taking off on the inaugural voyage.
It seems there was very poor planning from the begining. At the Captain's welcome party we got one glass of cheap champagne and were then herded out to dinner.
There was a unforgivable lack of activies on board while at sea--I guess no one planned that far ahead? By the time we got to Tenerife, Canary Islands several passengers were ready to abandon ship. Things did seem to improve after that. I guess it had to, too many people were complaining. They started Bingo , Team Trivia, added more dance classes, even had one of the waiters do a class on napkin folding.
I must say on a positive note, that the Filipino staff was the greatest. They are warm, kind, friendly people and provided some of the best, spontanious entertainment on the ship. For example, one evening in the Night Club, one of the waitress' sang and got a standing ovation!
We had two guest lecturers. A lovely man, Alan Crisp gave several talks on the grand old cruise ships and about several historical sea vessels.
When we got to Recife, Brazil, Mr. Stephen Dachl joined us. He was brilliant!! He gave four amazing lectures, ranging from the history of Brazil and Carnivale, to identifying the remains of Josef Mengele -- he played a key role. He was also very brave by discussing Iraq, the capture of Saddam Hussain and having a question and answer session afterwards.
Unfortunately Mr. Dachl didn't join our cruise until the 17th day.
I agree with you that the MV Discovery has a lot of potential. But Discovery World Cruises needs to greatly improve the quality of the food, on board activies, the entertainment and the itinerary. There were ports we really could have skipped, Cape Verde Islands and Santos, Brazil for example. Then we could have stayed longer in other ports such as Madeira or Tenerife. Tenerife was unfortunate in that we arrived on a Sunday when everything was closed, so it was sort of a waste of time.
All in all, unless things greatly improve there is no way I could recommend this ship.